By: Daniel Cencic
A huge day of football awaits on Sunday as Templestowe clashes with Park Orchards at Templestowe Reserve.
All in the name of honouring our Anzacs, the Dockers have continued to build on their tradition started three years ago with an action-packed day at home, which sees both junior and seniors involved.
Templestowe’s under-14s side will kick off proceedings against Parkside at 9.30am, followed by the under-12 girls and boys and reserves, with the main event kicking off at 1.40pm.
In attendance will be Templestowe RSL president Ron Twining who will be delivering the Ode, and bugler Robbie Dawson who will be performing the Last Post and the rouse in between the minute silence.
Both captains, Daniel Pearce and Tom Feher, will also be laying a wreath to honour the fallen.
Templestowe president Rob Price has been thrilled with the way the initiative has evolved over the years.
“We started the initiative about three years ago when Michael Fitzsimons was president, and Michael decided to make it a big Anzac Day,” Price said.
“Our ex-coach Rick Irwin was affiliated pretty heavily with the RSL in Drouin and he thought we needed to get a closer link to our local RSL.”
It is an occasion marked by each player at the club, according to Price.
“As a club and a playing group, on Anzac morning, we do the march back to the RSL and have breakfast,” he said.
“When Anzac Day lands on the actual game-day the RSL and all the supporters come down and we play the big game.
“We have the ceremony on the ground and we have the soldier on the horse come in on the ground, play the national anthem and the bugler and get right into it.”
The involvement of the newly-named Templestowe Junior Football Club sees the Dockers educating the club’s youth on the significance of the day.
It is a relationship between junior and senior club which continues to grow stronger.
“We’ve always been fairly strong with our junior club and last year they changed their name to Templestowe Junior Football Club – we want to bridge the gap and make a closer relationship with the junior club,” Price said.
“Myself and the junior president got together and thought we’d try and schedule as many games as we can and shift the game to Sunday.”
For the Dockers, acknowledging those who have served our country isn’t only limited to Anzac Day, with the club heavily involved with the local RSL throughout the year.
“The other thing we do is our Thursday night meal would traditionally be at the club, but about six to nine times during the year we’re actually going to the RSL for our meal so we’re supporting the RSL,” Price said.
“Some of our after-game functions on the Saturday night we’re actually going back to the RSL – we’re tipping back into our community clubs and giving them a boost.”
With such a monumental occasion being part of the legacy left by former senior coach Rick Irwin, Price says it’s great to have Irwin still involved at the club.
“Rick was phenomenal,” Price said.
“(Moving on) was a joint decision – we didn’t want to lose him and he shifted to another role with the junior club and senior club liaison, MC of functions, getting around our sponsors and working that way.
“He’s still involved at the club and he’s got a good position that works well with his job.”
New coach Craig De Corsey works closely with the former coach, where the duo have formed a unique set-up.
“With Craig on board, it’s gone to another level now, because he works pretty closely with Rick (and) it’s a unique situation,” Price said.